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  1. Hi, I am a total newbie to ceramics, but my daughter and I are excited to be starting this new adventure together! So please bear with me if my topic is showing such a lack of even the most basic understanding of how things work. We are planning on creating artistic 'flat' ornaments.. We do plan to 'bisque fire' & then 'glaze fire' our ornaments. (You'll probably hear from me again when we get to working with our Kiln!) I have been playing around with creating a few ornaments, and now have created a couple of plaster molds of my ornaments... I poured my slip (premixed & purchased from Dick Blick's) into one of my molds. But, as the slip dried, there was such shrinkage of the slip, that the center of the item somewhat collapses & one even cracked, leaving me with a 'bowled ' back of the ornament when what I really want is flat... The castings are between 1/4" thick to a very max of 1/2" thick with a maximum diameter of 2"-3". I have purchased bisque items where they are that thick (with a flat back), so I assumed one can pour slip that thick.. ?? I'd be so grateful for any guidance such as: 1) Suggestions on informative books or videos to educate myself on the basics of ceramics. Probably a very good step to move forward! I have searched YouTube and not found any useful videos dealing with one-piece molds such as what I'm trying to do.. but would so appreciate a highly recommended 'learning the basics of ceramics" book/course/video. 2) Should I be using a specific type of plaster for my molds - maybe what I used to create my mold is absorbing the moisture too fast? 3) Should I be using a specific type of slip? or is Slip even the right material for what we are trying to do?? 4) What might be an expected shrinkage %? 5) Do you pour the slip in thin layers before each prior layer is dry? 6) Any general suggestions (other than telling me I might not belong in the ceramic world)? :-) We all started somewhere! Thank you in advance. Nancy
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